1. Bills Mafia can help Josh Allen win this NFL award
Josh Allen's career-best season has already earned him a lot of weekly and even monthly awards this season. Now he's up for FedEx Air Player of the Year for his 2020 season.
Allen, along with Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, is one of three finalists for the award, which is voted on by NFL fans.
Fans can cast their vote for one of the quarterbacks from now until Feb. 2nd at nfl.com/fedex or via a Twitter poll on the @NFL official handle.
As part of the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year program, FedEx will donate $20,000 to Direct Relief in the name of each of the winning players. The $40,000 donation will help deliver emergency medical backpacks to local community clinics and health centers throughout the U.S. and in the cities that the winning players play in. Each backpack will support up to 500 people in the community.
FedEx will announce the 2020 FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year winner at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl LV, from 9-11 PM (ET) on CBS.
For more information, visit nfl.com/fedex.
2. Matt Milano confident they can corral Lamar
It's been no easy task for any NFL defense that has faced Lamar Jackson this season. Neutralizing his rushing exploits has proven to be a headache for most defensive coordinators. Jackson averaged 67 rushing yards a game during the regular season and turned it up a notch during Wild Card Playoff week with a 136-yard rushing effort that included a 48-yard touchdown run.
The Bills were one of the few teams during his league MVP season in 2019 to neutralize him, holding him to 40 rushing yards in Week 14 last year, his second-lowest rushing total in a game that season.
"We're pretty confident in being able to contain him, yes," said Matt Milano. "We've just got to be sound tacklers. A lot of other quarterbacks are just running and then they slide or they're going to do one cut and that's it. But with Lamar, he's a very shifty guy so just being able to keep him contained, that's going to be the biggest challenge for us."
Counting last week's playoff game, Jackson averages 11 carries per game.
3. Word of the week for Ravens corners is 'plaster'
It's not often that an NFL cornerback has to cover an opposing receiver for much more than three seconds. The defensive front has usually impacted the opposing quarterback enough to make a decision or to pay for not making one at all. That's not always the case for opponents of Buffalo's offense.
That's because Josh Allen often escapes the pocket and makes plays off script, oftentimes five to six seconds after the snap.
That has Baltimore's corners wary that they'll have to stay with Buffalo's receivers for much more than three seconds, especially in man coverage.
"It makes you have to cover longer," said Ravens CB Jimmy Smith. "You've heard the terminology 'plaster' before. 'Big Ben' [Ben Roethlisberger] is a person we've had to do that a lot with when they had Antonio [Brown] and all those guys back in the day. But when they extend plays, you've got fast guys running all over the field, and you have to 'plaster' them for four, five, six seconds; while an athlete like Josh Allen can still launch the ball 50, 60 yards down the field."
While the Ravens secondary allowed a completion percentage of just 43 percent on downfield passes against the Titans last week, Josh Allen completed more than 62 percent of his passes on downfield throws against the Colts as he was 10-16 passing, averaging 13.9 yards per attempt with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs. His passer rating last week on downfield throws was 127.1.